The Campaign wants to pretend it’s a smart self aware comedy that isn’t above extremely stupid humor. In actuality, what we have is an over the top smorgasbord with no focus. This film pretends to be a satire about politics, but it lacks any semblence of what a satire really is. Naturally, something like this should come easy. A film like this in our current political landscape is so easy to make that I can’t fully respect it. Any writer could have written this. Any director could have directed this. The only original aspect of this film is the comedy from Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.
The story is absurdly stupid and boring. Will Ferrell is our democratic candidate in a small town who hasn’t ran opposed in four terms or so. Some random baddies in DC decide it’s time for a change. They want to use this particular county as a dump for the Chinese to come in and make their products, thus, cutting costs of outsourcing. They decide to blow up Zach’s character a bit and get him to run against Ferrell in order to do this. The baddies here reminded me of the thugs in The Muppets.
Everything about this movie is over the top, and honestly, it’s really not a horrible movie. If this is your type of satire, one that is disguised as a dumb Ferrell flick, than great. Go ahead and love it. I can’t really fault you for it. But aren’t we tired of filmmakers taking the easy road? Aren’t we tired of major studios cranking out nonsense? I know I am, and The Campaign is a film that wants so badly to be something smart, but it’s not fooling me at all. It’s like a college crap shoot.
At this point, what hasn’t been said about the political landscape? What can a movie possibly do that Jon Stewart hasn’t already done on The Daily Show? What can one film accomplish making fun of politics that Bill Maher or Jimmy Fallon haven’t already done on their late night talk shows? There’s nothing, and there won’t be anything for a very long time. The Campaign seems to think it’s giving us something original. It isn’t.
The viewer undoubtedly gets what this film is going for. But it’s not saying anything new. It’s simply just making fun of politics, the ridiculous lengths candidates will go to, the absurd talking points and distractions campaign managers will try to flesh out, and the outrageousness the public becomes in support or disapproval of their candidates and people who aren’t exactly like them. Don’t we already know this?
The Campaign is entertaining, and I suppose if you are an absolute moron and didn’t understand all of this before the film, it could be slightly enlightening. But once the film is over, you realize it’s all been said and done before numerous times. The Campaign is not unique. It’s not original. It has its moments, and Ferrel and Galifianakis are funny in their roles. But so what?